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Ducks agree to six-year, $31.5 million deal with Hampus Lindholm

Anaheim Ducks have finally come to an agreement with restricted free agent defenseman Hampus Lindholm, inking the 22-year-old to a new six-year, $31.5 million deal according to TSN’s Bob McKenzie.

The two sides were rumoured to be as little as $250,000 apart, with the Ducks recently placing Simon Despres on the injured reserve while Emerson Etem was placed on waivers on Wednesday.

Lindholm becomes the Ducks highest paid defenseman as a result of the deal, with his $5.25 million cap hit the fourth highest on the team behind captain Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry and Ryan Kesler.

Selected sixth overall at the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, the Helsingborg, Sweden native has played in 236 career NHL games to date, registering 23 goals and 92 points while establishing himself as one of the best young defensemen in the league.

Anaheim’s total cap commitment now stands at $77.8 million, with the franchise likely to make some form of further moves with Rickard Rakell returning to fitness — not to mention the club’s own internal cap, which has often seen them spend well below the cap ceiling in previous years.

Cam Fowler, who has one more year remaining on his present deal worth an average of $4 million per season, has often been linked with a move away from Orange County; something for clubs in need of a defensive boost to monitor now Lindholm is signed.

Anaheim face Columbus at the Honda Center on Friday, with the Blue Jackets completing a three-game West coast road trip. It seems unlikely Lindholm will feature so quickly after signing the deal, owing to his absence from training while negotiations continued.

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